Monday, 5 December 2011


HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL, Colonel (Retired) Ken Cush was in his Mayor's Office leaning back in his chair and discussing with his Deputy, Councillor Horseman, how to best get rid of Councillor Piper. It was a subject enthusiastically pursued by both Cush and "Horsey", however despite the number of conversations they had on the subject, they could not come up with a fool-proof, perfect murder.

"You reckon we could get someone to tinker with his car, just before we send him up to Port Douglas for the day?" Cush speculated. "Take a chance he just goes over the side on one of those bends."

"A bit dicey hey, I reckon." replied Horsey, leaning back in his chair and putting his legs up on Cush's desk.

Cush spotted a blinking light on his desk phone, indicating an incoming call. Hastily, he sat up.
"We'll think of something." He motioned with his hand to Horsey that the conversation was over, and leaned forward to take the call. Horsey stood up and left the Mayor's Office, thinking he might play the Red Plum Nightclub a visit and put out some feelers for a possible hitman.

"This is Susan Clourdy, the Secretary for National Security, Attorney-General's Office, in Canberra," announced a crisp, confident female voice, when Cush answered. "Am I speaking to His Worship the Mayor of Cairns Regional Council, Colonel Ken Cush?"

"I just told you, lady!" replied Cush, instantly hating the confidence and efficiency of the female voice and thinking he would give this Susan Clourdy something to remember. Bloody females, taking over the whole bloody world, he fumed inwardly.

"We have secured this call, Colonel Cush," continued Susan Clourdy. "So that no-one can listen to what we are discussing, other than you and I. Is that clear?"

What the fuck! thought Cush. "Why does it need to be secure?" he grunted aggressively.

"Colonel Cush, we are about to discuss an issue of National Security. I am sure you can understand the need for caution on such a delicate issue?" replied Ms Clourdy.

"No I don't know what the hell you are talking about, you better bloody explain yourself." Cush was getting really pissed off.

It was Ms Clourdy's turn to sound irritated. "I am going to, Colonel Cush. I am going to."
"It is about the issue of the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation and the plans by your Council to sell a large tract of land to them......"

"So what's it got to do with you lot?" Cush cut in. "I'm Mayor of this city and I have the right to sell off Council land. Why the hell are you lot in Canberra sticking your noses in where you're not welcome?"

There was a brief silence before Ms. Clourdy continued, "We believe the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation is not a legitimate corporation but in fact a front for Chinese intelligence agencies. We believe if your Council approves the sale of land to this corporation, you will be exposing Australia to serious and grave concerns regarding our national security."

Cush was genuinely astounded. "Well fuck me dead!" he growled. There was a shocked silence on the other end of the phone.

"Colonel Cush, do you understand the gravity of what I am saying?" continued Ms Clourdy who was now sounding exasperated and who was starting to understand why the Prime Minister's Secretary had mentioned something about Colonel Cush being a bit of a "Northern rednecked fuckwit."

His mind still reeling with this totally unexpected information, Cush rallied. "Yeah, yeah." he replied. "But are you sure you blokes down there got it right?"

Ms. Clourdy's reply was cold and abrupt. "Our intelligence sources are beyond doubt on this one, Colonel."

"We demand that you and your Council no longer engage in any discussion or business activity with the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation. We understand that your own Councillors have voted recently to not proceed with the sale of the council owned land. We ask that you let that decision stand." continued Ms. Clourdy.

"And if I don't? What are youse gunna do, hey?" snarled back Cush hating this so efficient and so superior Ms. Clourdy even more.

"Colonel Cush, this matter is known to the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull on whose direct advice I have contacted you. I will be reporting the results of my telephone conversation back to his office. Should you continue to have contact with the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation and should you attempt to rescind the original vote by Council on this matter, the Prime Minister can request State Government intervention in your Council. You must know the procedure. The State Government can sack you as Mayor and dissolve the Council and appoint an interim management committee. Now do you understand!" Ms. Clourdy's voice was raised to a high irritated pitch.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." replied Cush, thinking furiously.

"Good day to you then Colonel Cush," replied Ms. Clourdy, ending the call.


Susan Clourdy sat back in her chair and looked across at her colleague, Dean Jansen, the Assistant Secretary. "What a horrible man!" she exclaimed. "He was so aggressive!"

Dean Jansen laughed hollowly. "Cairns is the "deep North" of Australia. They like 'em rednecked, neanderthal and misognist up there. Even had a political candidate one time who actually stated that women who drank should take some of the blame for being raped."

Susan Clourdy shrieked. "You're kidding, right!"

Dean Jansen shook his head. "Nope!"

Clourdy frowned. "I just don't trust this Colonel Cush character. I have a gut instinct about him, and I'm going to act on it. Can you see that two of our field agents are briefed and sent to Cairns. I beieve Cush needs watching and I want to be kept informed of exactly what is happening, full reports day by day. The Prime Minister will also need to be briefed."

"Done!" said Jansen.


Cush leaned back in his chair, digesting the information delivered by the Attorney-General's Office. He was due to be "onair" in an hour's time, as a regular guest on the local radio shock jocks call back program. The shock jock had discussed with him before that the issue would be solely about the sale of Mt Whitfield to the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation, which had fired up the people of Cairns. The more Cush thought about it, the more he started smiling. He could work this latest information to his advantage and no-one would be any wiser! He chuckled to himself at the daring of it all.

To be continued...............


  1. Just read this at work - in my lunch break, so dont have pups Vance. What's the sly old buggar Cush up to now hey?

  2. I can make a fair guess as to how Cush will use the information to his advantage.

  3. It's obvious Cush is going to pull some sort of swiftie but will he realise two spooks will be watching him?

  4. Liz at home relaxing6 December 2011 at 04:24

    You have drawn the belligerence of Cush's misognyism well here Terry. Men like Cush are instantly threatened and aggressive when a woman in a position of power tells them they have made a mistake. His musing and plotting at the end of the episode is also pretty true to form that such men will try and gain revenge or leverage of some sort. Ms Clourdy did well to send two agents immediately to Cairns to watch him. Cush would be too cocky, too arrogant to even realise this. I like the way, too, you referred to Gavin King's outrageous comments about women and rape. ROFL.

  5. Caroline at home too6 December 2011 at 04:32

    I agree with the point Liz made above, that misogynist men can't take orders or criticism from a woman in a higher position than them. They are basically, intrinsically unable to see women as equals, let alone respect them in a superior working position. So, of course Cush will now be plotting on how to make the best of this information for his own self-serving needs while also undermining the obviously competent Ms Clourdy. His own ego is more important than Australia's security or good governance of the Cairns Regional Council.

  6. Lots of She who must be obeyed women around today like my old lady hey. Cush is an old dinosaur but theres a few of them out there like him I tell you.

  7. Ailora in California6 December 2011 at 15:32

    Interesting blog, Vance. I'm fascinated at the differences between the USA and Australia, politically and socially.

  8. Murray in Austin TX6 December 2011 at 23:28

    Our radio shock jocks are identical to yours though.

  9. Like Liz, I think you have done a good job of recreating the manner a misogynist male adopts when speaking with a woman in a position of higher authority. Being told "what to do" by a woman, and a younger woman at that, is anathema to these types of men. Yes, Cush is going to use this private and confidential information to his advantage, but also I believe to try and smear Ms Clourdy somehow. Neanderthal brutes like Cush cannot let a woman direct them in any way and they have to strike back.

  10. Anon, I have observed that myself. Certain males just cannot take being reprimanded, criticised or directed by women. Their reactions are like spoiled children, they have to strike back. They are ugly characters.

  11. You talk about women but you dont talk about what it is like being black and giving orders to white people.. Lots of whites dont like it and they try and cause trouble.

  12. Yvonne, that is a very good point!

  13. You Australians are well behind us with integration of your black population. African Americans are now in every sphere of management, in the boardrooms, CEOs of corporations, professionals, business owners, and even our President is an African American. Congress and the Senate have many African American reps. From my readings of this blog and other research I have undertaken, it appears the aboriginal peoples of Australia are under represented in all areas of authority. Even Terry Vance, the writer of this blog, who is otherwise very liberal with his views, has relegated the one and only aboriginal character in his series, Mr Mingin, to a minor role. What sort of message does this provide to your young black people? Why won't you allow them a black hero, or a black good guy?
    My apologies for any embarrassment this might cause Mr Vance. I might suggest you give Mr Mingin a bit more life in your blog.

  14. Whew! Wow! Thank you Jaci in LA. As a writer and social activist, I feel suitably chastened in not crafting a strong aboriginal character with continuous presence in the blog. You are right to point out that our black Australians are under represented not only in the workforce, but also in our literature! Yes, our young people do need role models, heroes and heroines, even if they are works of fiction. I created Mingin to be a "good guy" and the first aboriginal representative ever on the Cairns Regional Council, and then did exactly what Jaci said, I pushed him into the background. Well, I can certainly write him into the blog in a bigger and more dynamic role. Thank you for the feedback Jaci.